Prince: Put your heart into keeping peace

New Straits Times, 2 May 2009

He said the peace process was similar to a loving relationship between two people which needed to be nurtured and appreciated. “Peace in the world, between nations and cultures, is the same as peace in a relationship.

“Therefore, it is a constant effort and we have to learn to work on peace. It’s a quality of the heart,” he said. Prince Alfred is in Malaysia to launch the promotion of a dialogue series called ‘Bridges: Dialogues towards a culture of peace” to be held in Malaysia and Thailand from November to April.

The launch on Tuesday was hosted by the Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Dr Nazrin Shah.
Speaking after meeting Media Prima chairman Datuk Abdul Mutalib Razak and group managing director and chief executive officer Abdul Rahman Abmad, the prince said the series was a combination of cultural exchanges and dialogue to promote peace.

Under the programme, Nobel prize winners or laureates and politicians and artists from across the world will conduct lectures, seminars, workshops and dialogues in partnership with Malaysian and Thai institutions to strengthen ties. At least five Nobel laureates will speak in the two countries.

Also included in the list is Reverend Jesse Jackson, the US civil rights and political leader. The event is facilitated by the Vienna-based International Peace Foundation.
Prince Alfred is the chairman of its advisory board whose members include 38 Nobel laureates as well as personalities such as singers Peter Gabriel and violinist Vanessa Mae.

The Malaysian Bridges programme is headed by Raja Nazrin (honorary chairman) and former deputy prime minister Tun Musa Hitam (chairman). Prince Alfred said all Asean countries, except Myanmar, had been invited by the foundation to conduct the Bridges programmes in their countries. After Malaysia, the first Muslim nation to host the event, the programme will move to Cambodia and Vietnam.

Prince Alfred said this was an excellent opportunity for Nobel laureates to experience Malaysia and highlight its peaceful and successful status in their countries.
He said the so-called conflict between the Muslim and non-Muslim worlds had made some people fearful of Islam.

“The laureates will learn about Malaysia and see that this is a wonderful and peaceful country. “They will go home and say, ‘We have been in a Muslim country but we have no feeling of any such clash. Instead, we were welcomed and embraced’.

"This will contribute towards more peace in the world."

Prince Alfred also said that thinking with one's heart would contribute towards peace.